GOMA Will Become a Maze of Red and Black Wool for Its Huge Chiharu Shiota Exhibition This Winter

Rescheduled from 2020, Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art will host a showcase of weaved web-like installations by the Japanese artist — and that's just one exhibition on its 2022 slate.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 18, 2022

It's been home to David Lynch's eerie filmscapes, Yayoi Kusama's infinity and obliteration rooms, Gary Carsley's projected jacarandas and Patricia Piccinini's forest of flowers that aren't quite flowers. It has also welcomed a riverbed, a snowman and a suspended installation that visitors can climb through, too. Marvel has taken over the place, and European masterpieces from The Met have graced the walls as well. But a labyrinth of red and black wool? That's about to completely transform Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art this winter.

Yes, GOMA loves an immersive installation. It loves this one in particular — and yes, it should sound familiar. Originally, Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles was announced as part of the gallery's 2020 lineup; however, we all know how that year turned out. So, it's coming Brisbane's way as an Australian exclusive from June 18–October 3 this year instead.

The eye-catching exhibition will showcase the Berlin-based Japanese artist and her work over the past quarter-century, coming to Brisbane after premiering in Tokyo back in 2019. And while it won't sit 53 storeys up or come with panoramic views of the city, like it did in Japan, Shiota's string-heavy installations are certain to garner more than a little attention. Fashioned from millions of strands, they resemble weaved, maze-like webs and take up entire rooms.

The Soul Trembles is the largest-ever solo exhibition by the artist — and although GOMA hasn't revealed just how much of the Tokyo lineup is coming to Brisbane, art lovers can expect an array of sprawling installations, sculptures and video footage of Shiota's performances, as well as photographs and drawings. Highlighting her fascination with intangible concepts, such as memory, anxiety, dreams and silence, the ticketed display is Brissie's big art date for the winter.

Chiharu Shiota. b.1972, Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Uncertain Journey (2016/2019). Courtesy: Blain | Southern, London/Berlin/New York. Installation view: Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles, Mori. Art Museum, Tokyo, 2019. Image courtesy: Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. Photograph: Sunhi Mang.

The Soul Trembles will take over GOMA once the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art wraps up at the end of April. Also doing the honours this year: a blockbuster summer showcase called Air, which'll follow on from Water back in 2019 and 2020. Running from November 26, 2002–April 23, 2023, it'll feature works by Ron Mueck, Anthony McCall, Dora Budor, Jonathan Jones, Dr Uncle Stan Grant Sr AM, Carlos Amorales and Tomás Saraceno, all diving into air in a cultural, ecological and political sense — with further details to be revealed later in the year.

Before that, though, Transitions will showcase historical Aboriginal bark paintings and contemporary Indigenous works from August 20, 2022–April 10, 2023, with pieces hailing from Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA's collection.

And, over at QAG, Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art will run from August 13, 2022–January 22, 2023, complete with new commissions and recent work by Robert Andrew, Burchill/McCamley, Megan Cope, Archie Moore, Ethel Murray and Ryan Presley, as well as Obery Sambo, Vanghoua Anthony Vue, Rosie Ware, Jenny Watson, Warraba Weatherall and Justene Williams.

From August 27, 2022–January 29, 2023, QAG will also present the first major museum survey of work by Queensland-born painter Joe Furlonger.

In other words, get ready to spend a whole lot of 2022 — and much of 2023, too — in a Brissie art gallery.

Gallery of Modern Art, exterior, south and east face, James Turrell artwork.


The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at GOMA — until April 25, 2022.
Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles at GOMA — June 18–October 3, 2022.
Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art at QAG — August 13, 2022–January 22, 2023
Transitions at GOMA — August 20, 2022–April 10, 2023.
Joe Furlonger at QAG — August 27, 2022–January 29, 2023.

Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles displays at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, South Brisbane from June 18–October 3, 2022. For further details — or to find out more about the gallery's full 2022 slate — visit its website.

Top image: Chiharu Shiota b.1972, Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. In Silence (2002/2019). Production support: Alcantara S.p.A. Installation view: Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2019. Courtesy: Kenji Taki Gallery, Nagoya/Tokyo. Image courtesy: Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. Photograph: Sunhi Mang.

Published on March 18, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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